Tonight Kaylee and I went on a training outing with my friend Lindsay and her SD Grady. Grady is 7, and Lindsay has begun training his successor- but he’s not quite ready for public access trips with Kaylee as a very enticing distraction. We started out by going to Barnes & Noble (looked for the latest Naomi Novik book, Victory of Eagles, but was unfortunately foiled by some evil person who had apparently misplaced it. The computer said it was in stock, though!). Kaylee is coming along- walking nicely on a loose leash with relatively few reminders from me to keep up. Sits were fairly good, automatic downs were also nice. (when I have stopped, I want my dogs to stop with me- but if I stop and don’t move again, I prefer my dogs to sit or down (their choice, the position isn’t really important to me) in front or directly beside me so they are out of the way of anyone passing by and comfortable. EXCELLENT on ignoring people and only one instance of sniffing – some fluffy stuffed animals in the children’s section were apparently irresistable but she did leave them when asked (and ONLY sniffed- nothing else.) After we left B&N, we went over to Razzoo’s, which Lindsay had noted in previous training excursions as being exceptionally dog friendly, to grab dessert (brownie sundae for LIndsay and strawberry cheesecake for me. The cheesecake was pretty good but the bite I stole of Lindsay’s brownie was AWESOME and I’m totally getting that next time.). The manager was exceptionally friendly and very complimentary about Kaylee- apparently his sister was a puppyraiser for a guide dog org in California. Kaylee got to work on going under a table and settling down there. The going under part went well (We’ve been working on L3 Distance from Sue Aisby’s Training Levels), and she was perfectly content to STAND under the table- but once we added Grady and two sets of (not small) human legs, she was fairly sure there wasn’t enough room to lay down. That’s okay- it’ll come. Rather than fighting with her about it, I’m going to work more on sending her into tighter spaces here at home (using two or three poles instead of just one) to send her around and dropping her between them), and in the mean time, we’ll make sure and get in some more practice.
After dessert, we went back to Lindsay’s house, unvested the workin’ dogs, grabbed her younger Dalmatian, Caden, and headed for a nearby fenced in field behind a closed school (where DSA will hopefully be holding classes in the near future- the location is PERFECT) to let the dogs have a romp. Caden and Kaylee indulged in gleeful flirting (with some loud but gentle and appropriate corrections from Kaylee when Caden got a bit fresh with her) and some zoomies. Grady supervised, did some zoomies of his own, and came to hang out with his mom and his baitbag.
All in all, a great day for her first training session in over a month. (Not counting class last week.) I’m starting up with a local obedience club again tomorrow- not sure if I’m going to take Mal or Kaylee yet. Mal could really use the time to polish his heeling skills and focus, but I need to get my butt in gear with Kaylee. I may do 4 weeks with him and then 4 with her- we’ll see. I don’t think alternating weeks would be good for anyone, but maybe months….
Skills worked on: General public access, loading/unloading, restaurant manners, SD heeling.
Total time: 2.5 hours